Thursday, April 15, 2021


 Q: 48 years old female is admitted to ICU with severe abnormal uterine bleeding (AUB). Ob-Gyn service is called while ICU service worked on hemodynamic stabilization. At the bedside service requests for sterile saline. What is the purpose of sterile saline in Ob-Gyn examination and in AUB?

Answer: Instilling sterile saline directly into the uterine cavity via the cervix during ultrasound of the uterus enhances endometrial visualization. It helps in delineate different endometrial pathologies like polyps, hyperplasia, cancer, leiomyomas, or adhesions. A recent version of Saline Infusion Sonography (SIS) is to replace saline with hydroxyethylcellulose gel, which provides a relatively more stable filling of the uterine cavity and does not require continuous installation. In severe AUB a balloon tamponade can be used with saline infusion to control heavy bleeding. 

Although SIS is a very safe procedure in experienced hands there is always a concern about disseminating infection and carcinoma. SIS may give rise to false diagnoses due to blood clots, debris, mucus plugs, and other artifacts.



1. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. ACOG Technology Assessment in Obstetrics and Gynecology No. 5: sonohysterography. Obstet Gynecol 2008; 112:1467. 

2. Guideline developed in collaboration with the American College of Radiology, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Society of Radiologists in Ultrasound. AIUM Practice Guideline for the Performance of Sonohysterography. J Ultrasound Med 2015; 34:1.

3. Chawla I, Tripathi S, Vohra P, Singh P. To Evaluate the Accuracy of Saline Infusion Sonohysterography (SIS) for Evaluation of Uterine Cavity Abnormalities in Patients with Abnormal Uterine Bleeding. J Obstet Gynaecol India. 2014;64(3):197-201. doi:10.1007/s13224-013-0501-4 

4. Alcázar JL, Errasti T, Zornoza A. Saline infusion sonohysterography in endometrial cancer: assessment of malignant cells dissemination risk. Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand 2000; 79:321.

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